2017 Winter Classic Preview
by Scott King
At the 2017 Winter Classic the Blackhawks will be looking to cash in on yet another outdoor opportunity when they take the ice at Busch Stadium on Monday afternoon. The Hawks are slated to take on their greatest foe, the St. Louis Blues, at noon in their fifth regular season outdoor game and their third Winter Classic.
With an outdoor record of 1-3-0, Chicago will be looking to prove they deserve all of the recent exposure to fans and the elements. They’ll also be looking to shake their recent skid in which they’ve only grabbed three of their last 10 possible points.
The Blackhawks lead this season’s series with the Blues 2-1 after a 6-4 victory on Dec. 17 in St. Louis. The Hawks will no doubt be looking to avenge their 2016 playoff elimination at the hand of the Blues in seven games after Chicago clawed their way back down 3-1 in the series.
As of Friday night, the Blackhawks sit on top of the Central Division with 51 points. The Minnesota Wild are in second with 50 points, and the Blues are in third with 43 points.
Jonathan Toews has the most points in NHL regular season outdoor games (2 goals, 4 assists) in four games played.
Toews also has three points in his last two games.
Will Hossa Play?
“Somewhere between expecting and hopeful,” said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville on if winger Marian Hossa (upper body) will play on Monday.
First Time For Everything
Monday will be the first-ever NHL outdoor regular-season game played by the St. Louis Blues.
Defenseman Michal Kempny was the sixth member of the Hawks to score his first NHL goal this season. Kempny also tallied an assist in Friday’s loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Corey Crawford is expected to start between the pipes for the Hawks. It’ll be his fourth contest outside.
Marcus Kruger is week-to-week after leaving Friday’s game with an upper body injury.
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